By Caleb Friedman ‘23, Staff Writer
Recently, the Heschel Administration decided that February break will only encompass two days. Usually, students are given a whole week to relax and take vacations, but this year, the break was shortened because the administration wanted to make sure students weren’t having too much fun. According to a recent survey, on average, Heschel students use under 68% of their February break for studying and seeking wonder. “We felt like students were spending too much time resting and enjoying themselves, and obviously those are not the values we support here at the Heschel School,” said one administrator. Another commented, “We don’t think these changes will be received well by students, but we feel that they are necessary to ensure a healthy learning community.”
However, in a recent poll, 97% of participating students said they agree with the decision to make February break just two days long. “I always forget everything over break, so this year I’m excited to come back to school with fresh knowledge of all my schoolwork,” one junior said. He added, “During break, my friends and I always have fun together, but I don’t like it because it doesn’t help us become better students. The teachers always tell us that fun is bad, and I’m glad that the administration has finally found a way to prevent it.”
A common reason cited for the importance of a long break is mental health, but most students don’t see that as an issue over the two day break. “Every single year at Heschel I have had a week-long February break, but I still inevitably get stressed at some point in the few months afterwards, so I don’t see how a two day break could be any worse,” said one senior. One sophomore expressed his gratification that he wouldn’t miss school as much, saying, “During break, I’m always so bored. I’m glad that this year I’ll be back to learning interesting things by what would have been day three of break.” Moreover, the 3% of students who were not supportive of the two-day break said they voted this way not because they desired a longer break, but because they thought that break should be shorter or even eliminated entirely. One said, “I have a horrible memory so I always forget things over break, even by day two.”
Another issue with the short break is travel. Many students travel during the week-long break, and that was much harder to accomplish this year. However, for most students this is not necessarily a bad thing. One remarked, “I hate traveling. It’s always so stressful because I worry about all the studies I’ll be forgetting.” When asked what he would do this year, he responded, “Study, of course. I won’t be bothered by overrated amusement parks or resorts and I’ll get the rare opportunity to spend both vacation days reviewing my schoolwork. It’s a relief, really.” Another student wishes that she could go on vacation this year, but admitted, “Vacation has so many health risks, such as sunburn, food poisoning, eye strain from too much reading, and getting mauled by an overaggressive sloth, and I look forward to not having to worry about that this year.”
Overall, the students at Heschel overwhelmingly support the two-day February break, and most are encouraging the administration to keep the shortened break in years to come. Students enjoy the shorter time between school days and the health benefits of not going on vacation, so as long as the administration agrees with the students, it looks like the two-day February break is here to stay.